Cabaret nights


120 Diner Welcomes John Alcorn to a Saturday Evening Residency; plus, Sunday Cabaret Series Lineup Announced for January/February/March/April


A relatively new venue on the Toronto scene, 120 Diner has become quite the hot spot for live music. Nominated for Best Blues Bar in the 2016 NOW Magazine Reader’s Choice Poll, the venue has expanded its programming over the past year, including a wildly popular Tuesday night residency for producer-singer-songwriter Chris Birkett, Lisa Particelli’s “Girls Night Out” Jazz Open Mic on Wednesdays, and since the fall, a frequently sold-out Sunday Night Cabaret Series.

On a friend’s recommendation, Music Programmer and local jazz artist Ori Dagan first set foot in the space – then primarily a comedy club – in the fall of 2014 to book himself a gig. When owners Mandy Goodhandy and Todd Klinck asked him to program more live music, he accepted the offer.

“There is definitely something magical about creating music in this space,” says Dagan. “The atmosphere is tastefully balanced between casual and sophisticated, and the acoustics are excellent. Most importantly the owners want music and respect artists. Bonus: the comfort food on the menu offers many choices, high quality and great value. Artists love to play here, and audiences love hearing them here.”

120 Diner has twice participated in the TD Toronto Jazz Festival’s Club Series; booking sought-after acts such as Gabi Epstein, June Garber and the Broadsway trio organically led to the popular Sunday Night Cabaret Series, for which Dagan has invited some of the key players in Toronto’s musical theatre community to contribute as curators and/or performers: distinguished Canadian Musical Theatre performer, composer, conductor and producer David Warrack; veteran independent theatre producer and former Chair of Toronto Fringe Derrick Chua; and singer, actress and host of of the SINGular Sensation Open Mic at Statlers Jennifer Walls. Guest curator Merle Garbe will be presenting two shows on February 19.

Collectively they have programmed an exciting roster of artists featuring established veterans Charlotte Moore and Mary Pitt and younger notable Gabi Epstein, appearing as part of Bobby Hsu’s “Ob-Sessions” cabaret where the bebop-saxophonist and musical theatre historian programs a collection of rarely heard gems.

Veteran jazz artist, John Alcorn, who played the 120 Diner cabaret series in November has accepted a weekly Saturday evening residency to revive his Songbook Series, the seeds of which were sewn at the Cameron House in the 1990s. Known for his extraordinary depth with a lyric and a contagiously moving sense of swing, Alcorn will be paying tribute to the heroes of the Great American Songbook: composers, lyricists and interpreters, every Saturday from 6-8pm, accompanied by some of the best in the land. Cover charge is $20.

On Sundays at 120 Diner there are two cabaret shows: one at 6pm and one at 8:30pm. The restaurant has won much acclaim for its fine cuisine and its well- stocked bar, and is located at 120 Church Street, a 5-minute walk from Yonge and Queen. Cover charge for each show is $20, or two shows on any given night for $30. Advance orders can be purchased on Brown Paper Tickets.  Dinner reservation can be made by calling 416-792-7725 or by text at 416-706-4237.

For media information contact Ori Dagan at  


Saturdays in April

“John Alcorn Sings the Phonebook”
April 1 – “A” / April 8 – “A-B” / April 15 – “B” / April 22– “B-C” / April 29 – “C-D”

Sundays in April

Sunday April 2nd
Jeni Walls curator
6pm – Funky, Frizzy & Ferocious starring Sarah Gibbons & Dana Jean Phoenix ($20)
8:30pm – Nicky’s Solo Improvised Musical w/ Nicky Nasrallah ($20)

Sunday April 9th
Derrick Chua Curator
6pm – Robyn Harrison & Léa Beauvais ($20)
8:30pm – The Sedina Show: In These Trying Times ($20)

Sunday April 16th
EASTER SUNDAY – not part of the cabaret series
7pm-10pm:Sienna Dahlen & François Jalbert

Sunday April 23
David Warrack curator
6pm – “Cass Elliot: I’m Not Your Mama!” Ramona Carmelly
8:30pm – John Pugh & Friends

Sunday April 30 –
Ori Dagan curator
6pm – International Jazz Day: Sam Broverman
8:30pm – Bobby Hsu’s Ob-Sessions